So glad I managed to catch Luca Cupani’s show yesterday just before he ran off to be crowned So You Think You’re Funny winner of 2015. Partly because the beautifully quirky venue of Bob’s BlundaBus – the top deck of an old double decker – isn’t that huge and I have a feeling it’s going to be packed out in the next few days. Such is the power of awards – you can be cynical about them but when they draw attention to guys like Luca maybe they do serve a purpose.
My main reason for being glad however is I’ve now seen Still Falling and I feel so much better for it. Now if that sounds all evangelical – that’s not Luca’s style at all. There’s no shouting, hectoring, badgering or pleading with the audience to laugh or to love him. Other men-in-their-30s-who-can’t-get-a-girlfriend, with comedy shows on the Fringe, please note.
Luca does tackle some of the more shop-worn themes of the Fringe – like lack of a sex/love life and showbiz casting knockbacks but in his hands they are gloriously re-energised. He recounts – in quite some detail – a couple of excruciating (non)romantic encounters but as there’s no hint of awkwardness it’s like hearing your best friend confide in you. Luca also talks about his now deceased mother and while he prefaces it with saying all her funny little ways were typically Italian – which I guess they were – there is so much there that is universal and that everyone can relate to. There is talk of death and religion but instead of being heavy-handed there’s lightness of touch and a gentle leading in to a slightly surreal world of photographing corpses and thinking his mum would find the dressing of her own funeral a bit tacky.
Still Falling is a marvelously genuine show (I don’t think Luca could tell a lie to save his life, maybe that’s why he isn’t getting more acting work!) shot through with optimism which never stalls or stops to give directions to the audience. It doesn’t need to as we’re laughing and enjoying it so much already.